Turkey charges German jailed since 2017 with terror links, espionage

Turkish prosecutors have formally charged 75-year-old German national Enver Altayli with alleged terrorism links as well as espionage, according to the indictment seen by dpa.

The 85-page indictment accused Altayli of “establishing or managing an armed terrorist organization” and “obtaining secret state information for the purpose of political or military espionage,” citing his alleged ties to foreign spies.

The charge sheet, which includes three other defendants, has been accepted by a court, but it is not clear when legal proceedings will begin, Altayli’s lawyer Bora Toksoy told dpa.

Turkish authorities have detained Altayli without trial for two-and-a-half years in a high-security prison in capital Ankara.

In his statement, Altayli said he worked for Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency, starting in 1968.

The indictment suggested that Altayli had close ties to US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government accuses of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016. Gulen’s movement is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara.

According to the indictment, Altayli worked to “create an atmosphere” in Turkey for the failed coup months prior to the putsch.

Altayli, who is also a Turkish citizen, was arrested in August 2017 in the Mediterranean resort city od Antalya over alleged links to Gulen. He denied the accusations.

Altayli’s daughter said his family was relieved to have received an indictment.

“We can now take concrete action against the allegations in a trial,” Zeynep Potente, who lives in Germany, told dpa on Wednesday.

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